HappySep 09, 2017
Photo by Mi PHAM on Unsplash
There is no key to happiness. Happiness IS the key.
The one thing all human beings have in common is that we all just want to be happy.
Now this could be a very short blog, because it is so simple: the key to happiness is to be happy.
That doesn’t really help anyone. And if it really was that easy, everyone would be happy already. Simple does not necessarily mean it is easy.
I used to say this all the time to my patients when I was still practicing physiotherapy, along with the words ‘using common sense’ and ‘keeping it simple’. My job was to teach my patients new habits, putting common sense into common practice and keeping it simple and practical, coaching them towards a healthier, happier life.
I know for a fact that most people are not happy. At least, not most of the time and not in all areas of their life.
Maybe you are happy with your job or career, but not so happy in your relationship.
I know many people who are not happy with their finances, their health and fitness.
Unfortunately, I also know many people who are depressed, joyless and stressed. They are just generally unhappy on a daily basis, often they don’t even know why anymore. They’ll blame it on their lack of energy, their poor health, or their dysfunctional relationship and lack of support. Or on politics and society. They are just cynical about the world in general. They are unaware that they have let their lives become smaller and smaller, boring, unchallenged and dull.
And then there are a few people I know that are mostly happy for no reason, even when they have health issues or money problems. In fact, some of the happiest people in the world live in third world countries, where they have next to nothing, according to western standards.
There are as many reasons to be unhappy as there are people on this planet. All of them are legitimate. You can always find enough proof why life is a struggle.
And when there is a glimpse of ease and fun, what is one of the first things that goes through your mind?
When you are having a great time on your vacation, do you worry about the end coming too soon? When you have a windfall, are you worried about the other shoe falling and your luck running out? Are you worried about aging and threats to your health?
We live in a world of contrast. There will always be something to worry or stress about. You can always find things that will make you unhappy. You can talk about it, complain about it, start a campaign against it, and feel righteous about your fight against the things that make you and whole groups of people unhappy.
What do you hear about and see on the news and on social media? Bad news, drama and trauma, what is wrong with people, the government, the climate, and healthcare and who's fault it is and what should be done about it. It feels so good to feel right and make others wrong.
All the unwanted things in life we encounter provide a clear contrast which can be used either as a powerful guide, or as a reason to create constant drama and havoc. It depends on what you focus on.
There is no light without darkness, no joy without pain.
There is no confidence without doubt, no ease without struggle.
There is no achievement without challenges, no desire without adversity.
There is no abundance without lack, no wealth without hardship.
There is no happiness without sadness and no clarity without confusion.
Life can seem like an ongoing struggle when you focus on the dark side of things. The unrelenting attention to problems has never brought, and never will bring forth a real solution.
When has worrying ever done any good for anyone?
How can we break the habit of worrying and doom and gloom?
I encourage you to think about the following questions, and to take a real honest and close look at yourself. Rate yourself for each question between 1 and 10, 1 being on the dark side of things and 10 being on the bright side.
- What do you pay attention to most of the time?
- What kind of thoughts are you thinking on an average day?
- How are you feeling on a daily basis?
To do this little exercise you would have to be present and aware of yourself.
How could you remind yourself to be present and aware during your day?
I use the alarm on my phone, I prime my mind in the morning to pay attention to what I want to focus on, think about and how I feel, and then my phone will remind me 4 times per day.
Building the one and only habit you’ll ever really need
Why would you even bother doing this exercise?
Well, if you are interested in how to be happy, and if you are a human with a pulse, you breathe, walk and talk I’d say you are interested, you would give it your best shot.
Because, happiness is a choice and you can make happiness your most important habit.
Yes, I am serious, happiness can become your habit.
Habits create your life and how you experience life.
Habits rule your life, they are the operating system that governs all your software responsible for the outcome.
If you don’t like the outcome, upgrade your operating system!
Change your habits.
This summer has been an amazing time for me. I am discovering that really, all I need is one big powerful all encompassing habit that could take care of everything, the ultimate operating system.
The habit of being HAPPY.
EVERYONE can work on building this important habit.
Photo by anja. on Unsplash
How can you make happiness your habit?
For me, my success in making happiness my habit started to gain real momentum when I decided to stop complaining. I didn’t know I was making happiness my new habit. It was my New Year’s resolution. It turned out not to be that hard to stop complaining at all and I did well. Then, to challenge myself, I added the decision to stop worrying about things. This turned out to be a little more difficult, but I am getting better and better at that with practice. And in the process of practicing not complaining and not worrying, I am feeling happier than ever. For no particular reason.
In June I went to San Diego for my re-certification training, and upgrade my Certified High Performance Coaching skills.
The trainer, world’s leading high performance coach and best selling author Brendon Burchard, had just finished writing his latest book. It is based on extensive groundbreaking research and I was thrilled to receive a preview copy as a gift to all alumni high performance coaches. I had never read a book before it was published. I was excited about reading it.
I am telling you about this because the book is about HABITS. “High Performance Habits, How Extraordinary People Become That Way”. It is a science based, heart centered plan to living a better quality of life.
I highly recommend reading this book for it has many interesting insights, tools and exercises, including an assessment. You can order it on Amazon, if you are interested. It has the potential to change your life.
While I was reading this book I realized with great clarity, that I had been working on making happiness my new habit.
What I realized as I was reading the book was that when I decided to stop complaining and worrying, I was changing my habits. I was upgrading my operating system! And it changed how I'm feeling.
My whole career as a physiotherapist my job was to help people change their habits, and I was pretty good at teaching patients. Habits are at the core of change.
Don’t like a certain area in your life? Change your habits! I have been doing that my whole life and teaching others how to do it too.
My life has taught me that my happiness does not depend on my circumstances. It is not about avoiding difficult situations and playing it safe. I am not happier now because I don’t run into problems or look another way when something I don’t like happens. I also deeply understand and appreciate that being happy doesn’t just happen when all is well in my life, rather, it is a state of being while I am on my journey, no matter the circumstances!
The outcome is not responsible for my happiness, my operating system is. And I am responsible for upgrading and maintaining my operating system.
It takes 66 days before a new behaviour becomes automatic, a habit. You can read this post by James Clear to learn more about forming new habits.
I realize that with all that I know, all that I've learned, and all that I am learning, both in my personal life as well as in my career as a coach and a physiotherapist, I have something valuable to teach and share with the rest of the world.
In fact, there is no time to waste with all the fear, disrespect, hate, and corruption happening right now in the world. We all need to step up and do something about it.
If we all stepped into the shoes of the best version of ourselves and started building the habit of being happy, we would all contribute to changing the outcomes in the world.
BUT I NEED YOUR HELP!!!
I am putting together a 66 day challenge where I will mentor and support you towards building your new habit:
The Habit of Being Happy.
EVERY day, for 66 DAYS, you will receive a quote, an exercise, or a new routine. These will be your tools in your habit building toolbox to help you with the challenge of building your new Happy Habit.
If you are interested, be one of the first to sign up right here:
Photo by Baptist Standaert on Unsplash
In the meantime, could you do me a favour?
You can help me personalize this challenge for you and make it more specific to your needs.
1. Let me know what makes you happy, or unhappy.
2. Share your experience and your score when you do the exercise where you score yourself for a week on the following questions:
- What do you focus on most of the time?
- What kind of thoughts are you thinking on an average day?
- How are you feeling on a daily basis?
Give your self a score for each question between 1 and 10, 1 being on the dark side, and 10 being on the light side of things.
3. Let me know which area in your life you have most difficulty with.
Either share your input in the comment section below, or you can email me directly: [email protected]
If you have any questions at all, share them in the comment section or email me directly: [email protected]
Watch this video to help get you in the right state of mind right away:
PS: Changing or forming new habits is not a 'do-it-yourself on your own' thing. It is a 'do-it-yourself together' thing. So connect with your friends and family, share it and make this a community endeavor.
Simply click the share button below by the comment section and choose your social media site.
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